Treasury closing call center, limiting email operations helpful to small communities due to insufficient funds.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Treasury announced its contact center for recovery programs will no longer be able to respond to specific questions from thousands of local government grantees. Without a legislative fix from Congress, Treasury cannot maintain essential communications and support for municipalities with questions about the complex rules and requirements of the American Rescue Plan Act’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program. Until now, Treasury provided guidance through call center support and email communications. The cut off particularly impacts small cities and towns, many of which are managing their first federal grant with minimal staffing and resources and have been the most reliant on direct Treasury guidance.
“Without Treasury’s guidance, small communities doing their part for post-pandemic recovery will be on their own,” said Irma Esparza Diggs, Senior Executive and Director of Federal Advocacy for the National League of Cities. “Treasury has been providing critical guidance to help small and rural communities, and we urge Congress to restore this lifeline. This would not require new money, simply a fix that would allow Treasury to utilize funds already appropriated. Congress can fix this by including H.R. 5735, the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, in the next government funding bill that Congress must pass in December. Again, this provision is not new funding, it would simply allow Treasury the flexibility to utilize funds already appropriated.”
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